Openbaar Ministerie-Curacao-Sint Maarten-BES Islands

Curacao

The Youth owns the future. The youth of today are the adults of tomorrow. Adults have - to some extent - influence on the development of the youth. That influence is a responsibility of which the whole society must be aware. Criminal Law can only partly contribute to the promotion of youth development.

Curaçao seeks to develop a society-wide approach regarding the youth and also the Prosecution has sustained attention for the particular situation of youngsters.

This The Public Prosecutor’s Office does, amongst other things, by developing youth-oriented reactions. Article 208 of the Code of Criminal Procedure stipulates that if grounds for prosecution are deemed to exist, the Public Prosecutor, taking all circumstances into account, shall first consider whether the matter can be dismissed by other means than legal action. This provision allows the road open to develop more specific youth-oriented measures. For this the Public Prosecutor’s Office seeks the cooperation of relevant (obvious and less obvious) partners to the extent that this has not already been done. Initiatives such as the 'safe house’ (veiligheidshuis) concept* must receive sustained attention in all countries and be equipped with sufficient resources, so that they have the best chance of success.

In Curaçao at the end of 2011 a new Criminal Code has been introduced, which knows a separate regime for juveniles.

The Public Prosecutor charged with the Youth portfolio is a member of a committee charged with drafting of the Judicial Youth Policy. In the planning period, the Youth Prosecutor also leads the monthly case consultation on youth matters. As with RV-cases it is of great importance for the Youth cases that these be picked up and dismissed efficiently. Again, the prosecution seeks a settlement decision within five months of the juvenile case (at large) being registered with the prosecutor.

*In the safe-house concept, different organizations work together that are involved in security and enforcement, so that information exchange on health care and at-risk youth can take place regularly. In Curaçao already case - consultation takes place between the Public Prosecutor, the Police, and the juvenile probation (part of the Guardianship Council). A next step is the appointment of so-called 'youth officers’. Eventually, also the institution for family supervision and the school attendance officer will become involved in this concept. 

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